What a year it has been. I say this every year, that it has been the best year yet. However, this year came with a new challenge, a new blessing. 

We welcomed our first child this year. So many emotions come with the miracle of your first child. When carrying her-there is so much unknown. When and how will they arrive? Who will they look like? What will their personality be like? What will this do for our marriage? 

There have been a number of personal challenges for me being a mother. The feeling of not being good enough for her, for not doing enough, for not doing it right. Making sure that my marriage does not fall to the wayside. 

However, the biggest challenge for me this year has been loving myself, for not beating myself up so much. 

From cooking fails,missing a week of cleaning, not being able to soothe my crying baby, work stress, feeling judged and compared by the way we do things, and the baby weight I put on. My confidence has been kicked to the curb this past year. And so has my relationship with the Lord.

I haven’t made time for Him like I should have. I’m praying this year is different. 

Just like many others I have goals to eat better, excercise more and be healthy. However, I’m going to go one step further in making a goal to love myself. 

I’m tired of being so hard on myself, beating myself up for little things. I should be celebrating this body that has been gifted to me. This body that carried my precious little girl, gave birth to her and has given her sustenance. 

This year I’m going to love this body the Lord gave me, and celebrate it. Will you join me? I’ll be posting pictures periodically in celebrating my life on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #loveyourself16. Feel free to join me in posting! 

Love to all- Nicole 

Do you believe in the Bible? 

We aren’t Jesus. We can’t live the perfect life, have perfect relationships, have the perfect tongue to never utter a vile word, and die selflessly on a tree for the world. It’s impossible.

We can’t save each other. 

That’s why Christ died for us… So that we didn’t have to save. 

We can’t save people by forcing our beliefs on them. We just can’t. 

But we can do three things. 

We can love them, as Christ loved. We can pray like Christ prayed. We can TRY to live as Christ did. Non stop. 

It so easy to get on our high horses and want to ram rod scripture down people’s throat. “The Bible says!!” We might exclaim. 

But it doesn’t matter what the Bible says to them if the Lord hasn’t unvieled their eyes and softened their hearts. (The Bible does say that… But does it matter to you?) 

Some of us Christians get a complex on saving others, but that’s not the Gospel. It’s not in Jesus’s final words to his disciples , “go save people!” It was something entirely different. Again, does it matter to you what the Bible says? 

The Gospel is, is that Jesus saved us… If you accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life. Not if you can save others. This condemns us for a lifetime of disappointment.. Trying to save others. But to pray for them and love them as Jesus does we can only try our best.

The good news in all of this- it takes the pressure off. Can you imagine if that were really true? That we had to save people by trying to get them to believe in Christ’s sacrifice for us? Sure, we would be delighted if we could only help the Lord in bringing that person to surrendering their life..but it would never be appropriate to take that glory for ourselves. 

So here is my question. 

Are you living out the true Gospel, or trying to force it on others? 

Love to all- Nicole 

Letter to a New Momma

To the new Momma,

What a whirlwind your life has been the past few weeks. You were so round, possibly swollen and just waiting around for that precious baby to make it’s arrival. As the time drew nearer you tried to find things to keep your mind occupied on things other than that little baby that could make it’s entrance at any time. You would scroll through your social sites every ten minutes, hoping something new or interesting would come up or binge watch Netflix for hours on end while laying on your couch… just waiting.

Then suddenly you find yourself with the most perfect little person resting in your arms. Your world has completely changed, and for the better. The first days are pure bliss as you’re deliriously in love with this little person who keeps you up at night. The love you have burns through you despite your exhaustion.

Those first few weeks are messy, but beautiful as you both try and figure out this new life you have together. Your sweet one knows exactly who you are and quiets her crying as soon as you pick her up. There is no sweeter feeling.

You feel your first sense of overwhelming pride when your newborn gives you his first toothless smile, even if it is only for 3 seconds. You feel terrible for them when they are inconsolable despite everything you’ve tried, when finally they drift off to sleep in your arms.

You make it past the first few rough weeks triumphant. You’re finally getting the hang of this new mom thing. Recognizing the cries and getting to know your sweet one’s personality and needs.

You cuddle and kiss that little one any chance you get, because you’re often reminded of how fast they grow. Oh, so fast they grow in that first year. Changing before your very eyes. Hold on sweet momma, you’re in for a beautiful, challenging, messy and rewarding ride.



Tips on focusing on the Real Reason for the Season

With the hustle and bustle of the holidays, shopping, baking and putting up the tree it’s easy to lose sight of why we’re really celebrating. What can we do to keep Jesus at the front of our minds and celebrations and remind our families of the real reason for the season? I’ve compiled a list to help us stay true to the Gospel this season.

  1. Share the story of the birth of Jesus with your children/family leading up to Christmas day.
  2. Attend a Church service Christmas Eve/Day.
  3. If you celebrate with Santa, say a prayer with your children before allowing them to open gifts from Santa.
  4. Donate time/money to the less fortunate and share the Gospel with them.
  5. Have religious based Christmas songs playing in your homes or vehicles.
  6. Pray for continued remembrance of the true celebration of the holiday.

These are just a few of the things one can do to make sure the true celebration of Christmas isn’t forgotten.

Do you have a family tradition or addition you could add to my list? How do you keep Jesus as the center of your celebrations?

Photo Credit: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/18-most-beautiful-christmas-trees-around-the-world.html

Guilt in not being Hospitable 

I often feel guilty saying that we need to invite so and so over for supper or dessert and then find all of these excuses like, “My house isn’t big enough, I haven’t had time to clean it, or there is just too much clutter.”

Do you have those excuses?

The word hospitality is mentioned at least 7 times in the Bible.

1 Peter 4-9; Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Welp.. I failed at that one.

3 John 1-8; We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.


The Gospel is truth. That our Father loved us so much that He sacrificed His only Son to save us.

And what did that Son tell us to do? Make disciples. How can you make and grow disciples? By being hospitable. Inviting people to your home to make disciples and build community.

It doesn’t matter how rich or poor, big or small, clean or dirty your house is. The Lord doesn’t mind and people appreciate your kindness. Even if you can only offer a glass of water that person will feel loved and welcomed, and isn’t that what hospitality is all about?

In 2nd Kings there is a story about a woman who offers hospitality to a traveler who often comes to eat at her home while he is traveling through. She went as far as building him a room on the roof of her home to make him feel more welcome. The Lord ended up rewarding her with a son. (She hadn’t been able to have one prior.) She did this without knowing she was going to be rewarded. She showed humility, love and kindness to this traveler who didn’t even ask for his own place to stay.

If this woman could build a room ON HER ROOF… than my excuses hold no water.

I’m guilty of not being hospitable. I want everything to be perfect and in its place, but I heard something so perfect the other day.

“I don’t come to see your home, I come to see you.”

How can we take the pressure off of those of us who strive for perfection in order to serve others with humility?

How can we open our homes to be more hospitable?

Lord, I ask you be with each of us that struggles with perfectionism that gets in the way of building your Church. I pray you ease our fears of being judged for our earthly possessions and dwellings and you instill confidence and humility into opening our homes and hearts to others. Please be with those who strive to serve and honor you and continue to bless their lives here on Earth. In Jesus name. Amen. 

Featured image credit: http://thatssoador.blogspot.com/2012/12/holiday-entertaining-christmas-dessert.html